Verizon's Alltel acquisition: What are the ramifications?

Now that analysts and industry pundits have had 24 hours to rehash yesterday's announcement about Verizon's $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel, there is lots of debate about how this deal will impact the industry and Alltel customers. Here's a roundup of the latest:

Alltel subscribers: Alltel customers are worried about Verizon's commitment to rural coverage and whether the deal will lead to reduced competition in rural markets. They are also concerned about the possible demise of the firm's popular MyCircle's rate plan that lets them have unlimited calling to 5, 10 or 20 numbers for a monthly fee. Alltel CEO Scott Ford says that there will be not rate plan changes right away.

What does this mean for other operators? Most of the speculation surrounds Sprint, which now moves to a more distant third place behind Verizon and AT&T. Some believe Verizon's acquisition of Alltel increases the chance that Sprint will be acquired by Deutsche Telekom. Technology Business Research believes the acquisition of Alltel will place new burdens on AT&T and cause it to search for possible acquisition targets. That may be tough since prospects are limited.  Possible acquisition targets would include U.S. Cellular, Centennial, and unlimited local service providers Leap Wireless and MetroPCS.

For more:
- see this AP story
- see this Chicago Tribune story
- read this Sprint Connections story

Related stories:
Verizon finally moves back into No. 1 slot. Read this Verizon acquires Alltel opinion
Verizon snaps up Alltel for $28.1B. Read this Verizon acquires Alltel story